Adamantium

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Not to be confused with Adamantane.
Adamantium
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Avengers #66 (July 1969)
Created by Roy Thomas
Barry Windsor-Smith
Stan Lee
In story information
Type Metal
Element of stories featuring Wolverine, Bullseye, Lady Deathstrike, X-23, Captain America's shield, Ultron's Armor

Adamantium is a fictional metal alloy in the Marvel Comics Universe best known for being the substance bonded to the character Wolverine's skeleton and bone claws. Although regarded as indestructible, the original comics revealed adamantium was penetrable by bullets made of the same alloy.

Etymology[edit]

The first use of the term "adamantium" was in the 1956 film Forbidden Planet, a classic MGM science fiction film directed by Fred M. Wilcox. In the film Dr. Edward Morbius on the planet Altair IV, discovers a highly advanced native species, the Krell, a race that mysteriously died suddenly 200,000 years before, had used adamantine steel in their buildings. In the time since, all above-ground evidence of their civilization has disappeared.

The term adamantium in Marvel Comics was first used in Avengers #66 (July 1969), where it refers to part of Ultron's outer shell.

The word is a pseudo-Latin neologism (real Latin: adamans, adamantem [accusative]) based on the English noun and adjective adamant (and the derived adjective adamantine) with the neo-Latin suffix "ium," implying a metal. The adjective has long been used to refer to the property of impregnable, diamondlike hardness, or to describe a very firm/resolute position (e.g. He adamantly refused to leave). The noun adamant has long been used to designate any impenetrably or unyieldingly hard substance and, formerly, a legendary stone/rock or mineral of impenetrable hardness and with many other properties, often identified with diamond or lodestone.[1] Adamant and the literary form adamantine occur in works such as Prometheus Bound,[2] the Aeneid, The Faerie Queene, Paradise Lost, Gulliver's Travels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Lord of the Rings, and the film Forbidden Planet (as "adamantine steel"), all of which predate the use of adamantium in Marvel's comics.

History and properties[edit]

In the Marvel Universe, adamantium is a group of man-made metal alloys of varying durability, but all are nearly indestructible. Adamantium was inadvertently invented by the American metallurgist Dr. Myron MacLain in an attempt to recreate his prior discovery, a unique alloy of steel and vibranium (which required an unknown catalyst for its manufacture) that was used to create Captain America's shield.[3]

Before molding, the components of the alloy are kept in separate batches, typically in blocks of resin. Adamantium is prepared by melting the blocks together, mixing the components while the resin evaporates. The alloy must then be cast within eight minutes. Adamantium's extremely stable molecular structure prevents it from being further molded even if the temperature is high enough to keep it in its liquified form. In its solid form, it is dark metallic grey, shiny, and resembles high-grade steel or titanium.[4] It is almost impossible to destroy or fracture in this state and when crafted to a razor edge, it can penetrate most lesser materials with minimal application of strength.[5]

Despite its utility in armament and armature, adamantium is rarely used due to its high cost and inability to be reshaped.

Wolverine once discovered an adamantium-laced skull in Apocalypse's laboratory and said it seemed to have been there for eons.[6]

Types of adamantium[edit]

Proto-Adamantium[edit]

The experimental iron alloy that Dr. MacLain experimented on with Captain America's shield is now referred to as "proto-adamantium", which is slightly different than true adamantium in that it's stronger than the latter. Dr. MacLain's experiments with proto-adamantium led to the creation of true adamantium. This proto-adamantium (the only known source) was incorporated with the vibranium in the shield and has never been recreated.

Secondary adamantium[edit]

As true adamantium is extremely difficult and expensive to create or manipulate, some parties found a way to duplicate it on a larger and more cost-effective scale at the expense of quality and durability. For most practical purposes, this secondary adamantium is also largely indestructible. Conventional weapons, such as ballistic missiles, have no effect on it and it is far stronger than even the most durable of titanium or steel compounds. However, extraordinary force, such as a punch from a being with superhuman strength, can warp or break it. Unconventional forms of energy discharges have also been known to warp or damage secondary adamantium, such as Thor's lightning attacks using Mjolnir.[7]

Adamantium beta[edit]

Adamantium beta is a metal created as a side-effect of the process of bonding true adamantium to Wolverine's bones. His healing factor not only allowed him to survive the process, but also induced a molecular change in the metal. Adamantium beta functions identically to true adamantium, but it does not inhibit the biological processes of bone.[8]

Carbonadium[edit]

Carbonadium is a resilient, unstable metal that is vastly stronger than steel, but more malleable and cheaper than adamantium.[9] Due to its malleability, carbonadium is less durable than true adamantium, but still nearly indestructible. Omega Red has carbonadium coils through which he can transmit his ability to drain life energies. Carbonadium is highly radioactive and objects composed of it have proven to disable the accelerated healing factors of Wolverine[10] and his son, Daken,[11] if implanted within the body. Deadpool used a carbonadium katana to kill Wolverine in the miniseries "Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe". It is currently unknown if carbonadium affects other beings with superhuman healing powers in a similar manner. The only device that can produce carbonadium, known as the Carbonadium Synthesizer, was initially believed thrown into a river in Brussels by Wolverine. It has since been revealed that the Carbonadium Synthesizer had been hidden on the deceased body of a double-agent who died escaping Omega Red along with Wolverine, Sabretooth, and Maverick. The synthesizer was retrieved and handed back to Maverick, whose mission was to retrieve the item for unknown parties.

Polymorphism[edit]

In X-Men #191, when confronting Wolverine, one of the Children of the Vault named Serafina claims that adamantium has thirteen allotropes, all of which are "unstable, and short-lived, but virulently poisonous." She throws a small device that clamps onto Wolverine's claws and makes them glow green, claiming that it is adamantium nine. This apparently raises adamantium's toxicity dramatically, overloading Wolverine's healing factor. Allotrope is a misnomer, as adamantium is an alloy and not a pure element. The more general term, used for any crystalline material, is polymorphism.

Adamantium as key component[edit]

Adamantium is used as the key component in several instances in the Marvel Universe, including:

Adamantium in the Ultimate Marvel Universe[edit]

Within the Earth-1610 reality, also known as the Ultimate Marvel Universe,[12] adamantium is highly durable and is able to effectively protect a person's mind from telepathic probing or attacks. It has been shown as a component of the claws and skeleton of the Ultimate Wolverine and Ultimate Lady Deathstrike characters. The shield of Ultimate Captain America is composed entirely of vibranium, which is a super-strong metal created before adamantium but the formula for which could not be replicated, therefore leading to the creation of adamantium. This version of adamantium is not unbreakable. In Ultimates #5, the Hulk breaks a needle made of adamantium. In Ultimate X-Men #11 (December 2001), an adamantium cage is damaged by a bomb. In Ultimate X-Men #12 (January 2002), one of Sabretooth's four adamantium claws is broken.[13]

In other media[edit]

Adamantine has, throughout ancient history, referred to anything that was made of a very hard material. The degree of resilience and the creation of adamantium can sometimes vary between different media forms. In Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, adamantite is referred to throughout the game's many books and adventure modules as a very special and valuable metal.

Games[edit]

  • In the MMORPG "RuneScape", there is an ore named adamantite, which can be smelted and made into weapons and armour.
  • In the MMORPG Ragnarök Online, there's a homunculus skill named Adamantium Skin, that raises the HP recuperation, the maximum HP and the defense points.
  • In the MMORPG Dark Age of Camelot, dropped and player crafted items can be made of adamantium.
  • In the Master of Orion games, adamantium is one of the strongest types of armor.
  • In Master of Magic adamantium mines can be found on Myrran and give weapon bonus to units.
  • In the Warhammer 40,000 universe, adamantium is a super-hard alloy used by the Imperium of Man in the construction of weapons and armor.
  • It is found in Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft game in the Ornate Adamantium Breastplate. There was a minable variation of adamantium, known as adamantite, added in the Burning Crusade expansion pack; that could be mined, smelted and forged.
  • Adamantium armor and weapons can be found in Bethesda Softworks' The Elder Scrolls series.
  • Adamantium armor is a form of armor in the PlayStation 2 game Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal.
  • In Two Worlds, there are two available Earth Magic spells with adamantium references. These spells are Summon Adamantium Golem (the strongest summon in the game) and Adamantium Shield.
  • In the MMORPG MapleStory, adamantium is a mineral ore that can be processed into adamantium plates used to forge some equipment.
  • In the MMORPG Mabinogi, the missing skeleton of the Generation One boss monster Glas Ghaibhleann was said to be substitutable adamantium.
  • In the RPG Rage of Mages, the third strongest (after crystal and meteoric) and most powerful set of weapons and armor is made of adamantium.
  • In Age of Mythology, the gates of Tartarus, fashioned by Zeus to seal Kronos, are made of adamantium.
  • In Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, adamantium is the Ultra Rare element for Tier 5 blacksmith recipes.
  • In the MMORPG Star Sonata, many high-end items are built using Adamantium Sheets, which are refined from Adamantium Ore.
  • In nearly all the Final Fantasy games, adamantium appears as unrefined metal or a piece of shell from a giant turtle called an adamantoise.
  • In Ricochet Infinity, three of the top four ranks are described as having adamantium artifacts (sword, crown, and throne).
  • In Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, the character may take a perk titled Adamantium Skeleton, which reduces the damage taken to limbs.
  • In the MMORPG ROSE Online, there is a usable item called Adamantium Drill for slotting equipment and inserting gems.
  • In Lost Souls, adamantium is an azure-colored metal that is extremely strong, but is rarely used in its pure form, as small amounts of it can be alloyed with iron to produce "adamantite".[14]
  • In Lost Odyssey, there is a sword called Adamantis, forged from adamantium.
  • In the MMORPG Aion: The Tower of Eternity, Adamantium Ores are obtainable and used to craft various weapons and armor pieces.
  • In the game Zoo World on Facebook, Adamantium Mastery can be achieved by breeding a certain amount of each animal species or completing various in game achievements. Adamantium is the fifth level of mastery, following bronze, silver, gold, and platinum.
  • In the MUD Muddy Waters, adamantium weapons and armor are used by "Marlarans" in the underdark.
  • In the game Digimon World 2 the highest level of Digi-beetle armor is known as adamantium.
  • In the game Infinity Blade the sword, The Infinity Blade is crafted from adamantium.
  • In the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, adamantium is one of the hardest metals, giving it high penetration and defense values.
  • In later Harvest Moon games adamantium is used to craft accessories.
  • In the game Terraria adamantite is an end-game ore.
  • In Dwarf Fortress adamantine is one of the numerous minerals that could be found all around the world, and then used up for crafting purposes. Adamantine in Dwarf Fortress is extremely lightweight along with its durability and ability to be honed to a sharper edge than any other metal; while this makes adamantine armor and blades the best available, the low weight and density means that war hammers and similar blunt weapons made from it are extremely weak.

Films[edit]

  • In the 1956 film Forbidden Planet Dr Morbius explains adamantium was used in the construction of the Krell cities.
  • In the Toy Story film series, Buzz Lightyear's suit has an adamantium-nitrogen layer.
  • In the 1998 film Lost in Space, the spider-like organisms are described as having an "adamantium shell." The organisms were destroyed by exposure to a nuclear fusion explosion.
  • As with his comics counterpart, the X-Men film series version of Wolverine also possesses adamantium in his skeleton and claws. In X2: X-Men United, liquid adamantium was seen boiling in a tub. (William Stryker mentioned, "The tricky thing about adamantium is, that if you ever manage to process its raw, liquid form, you got to keep it that way, keep it hot. Because once the metal cools, it's indestructible.") The X2 version of Lady Deathstrike is also shown to have adamantium claws that are extruded from the tips of her fingers.
  • In the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, adamantium is a metallic compound developed after studying an unknown element found in a meteorite in Nigeria. During the film, adamantium is fused to Wolverine's skeleton and claws. Unlike the version seen within Marvel's mainstream universe, adamantium as it is in the film continuity can be damaged by other weapons forged of adamantium; as Wolverine is shot in the head with bullets made of the compound, sustaining severe intra-cranial trauma that induces extensive amnesia.
  • In the 2013 film The Wolverine, the Silver Samurai's armor is built out of adamantium. The film depicts more decisive example of adamantium being damaged is shown as the two katanas wielded by the Samurai, also constructed of adamantium, are able to slice through Wolverine's claws when heated up.
  • In the Marvel Comics animated feature Ultimate Avengers, Captain America's shield is composed of an adamantium/vibranium alloy.

Television[edit]

  • In the Iron Man animated series, Tony Stark has armor made of adamantium, though it is stolen by the Mandarin.
  • In the Samurai Jack episode "Jack and the Ultra-robots", the assassin robots are said to be made of adamantium.
  • In the Spider-Man: The Animated Series episode "Neogenic Nightmare, Chapter XI: Tablet of Time", the criminal Hammerhead tells Spider-Man that his head is made from adamantium.
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series episode "Planet of the Turtleoids", Shredder refers to his Chrome Dome robot being made almost entirely of adamantium. It is defeated only due to the fact that it has a singular vulnerability in its first appearance as it had a plate on its back made of steel, rather than Adamantium.
  • In Green Wing, Martin Dear boasts his intent to purchase an adamantium motorcycle helmet. Dr. Macartney, however, points out that it is a fictional compound.
  • In the animated series Mighty Orbots episode "The Jewel of Targon", the Orbots leader, Rob Simmons, exclaims that a containment unit is made of "pure adamantium."
  • In the penultimate episode of House M. D. season seven, Gregory House uses the term in reference a very dense material.
  • The plot of the Iron Man: Armored Adventures episode "Fugitive of S.H.I.E.L.D." revolves around an adamantium/vibranium hybrid that Black Widow steals for Justin Hammer.
  • Adamantium appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "Behold...The Vision!", where the Vision steals some from a Weapon X facility. In "Ultron Unlimited", the stolen metal is used to construct a new body for Ultron.
  • In Fairy Tail manga, there was a dragon named Motherglare which has an adamantine body. Also, in the anime, the character Erza Scarlet has an armor made of adamantium

Novels[edit]

  • In the book Momo the third chapter contains a reference to adamantium. The children play an imaginary game involving a storm-hunting ship cast out of adamantium.
  • In Snuff, adamantium is referenced in regard to Sam Vimes' patience when he suggests that a number of young ladies acquire jobs rather than wait for a young man with money to come along and marry them.
  • In a short lived comic series Captain Tax Time, a group of criminials used an Adamantium vault to store their money.
  • In the epic poem Paradise Lost, adamantium was a holy substance used to craft weaponry.
  • Various Warhammer 40,000 novels make reference to adamantium as a component of armour.
  • The novel Percy Jacksons Greek Gods references adamantium as the metal used to create several weapons and items used by the greek gods and other mythical figures.

Music[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "adamant - definition of adamant". Oxforddictionaries.com.
  2. ^ Great Books of the Western World Vol. 4 pg 40
  3. ^ Avengers (vol. 1) #66-68 (July – September 1969)
  4. ^ Avengers (vol. 1) #201-202 (November – December 1980)
  5. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #139 (November 1980)
  6. ^ Wolverine: The Jungle Adventure (1990)
  7. ^ Thor (vol. 1) #271
  8. ^ Wolverine (vol. 2) #80 (April 1994)
  9. ^ X-Men (vol. 2) #7 (April 1992)
  10. ^ Wolverine: Origins #7-8 (October – November 2006)
  11. ^ Wolverine: Origins #25-26 (July – August 2008)
  12. ^ Earth-1610 (Ultimate Universe) at Marvel.com
  13. ^ Ultimate X-Men #12 (January 2002)
  14. ^ "Adamantium". Lost Souls Wiki. Retrieved 2011-07-10.